Referee Anthony Taylor has not been shy about showing the cards this season in the Premier League. In 23 games that he has officiated, he’s brandished 99 yellows and 4 reds. And so, in its infinite wisdom, the Premier League has appointed Taylor to be in charge of the Merseyside Derby tomorrow at Anfield, a game that has had 21 red cards flashed in its inglorious history.
Everton are no strangers to Taylor, with this being the fourth time he’s doing a Toffees game this season. The Blues won away at Crystal Palace, lost at Watford and beat West Ham United at home in the previous three, picking up five cautions in the process.
He’s also done four Liverpool games previously this season - a home draw against Manchester United, a win over Sunderland, an away draw against the Black Cats again and a home win over Tottenham Hotspurs, with seven yellow cards handed out to the Reds.
Taylor has been out of the spotlight recently, after courting controversy in December’s Manchester City versus Chelsea game where he failed to send off David Luiz, and then completely lost control of the game at the end when both sets of players were involved with running battles on the sidelines. He eventually sent off Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, but not before we saw a scrum of players, staff and coaches that disrupted play for a few minutes.
Previously though, this very referee has been responsible for some fiascoes involving Everton.
In December 2012, he disallowed a perfectly good goal by Leon Osman, and then inexplicably sent off Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson among a bunch of other very odd decisions. And then again in March earlier this year, when he sent off Kevin Mirallas as the Hammers came from behind to win. Sandwiched in between was a surprisingly uneventful 1-1 draw in January 2015 in the FA Cup, with a last-minute equalizer from Romelu Lukaku.
Taylor was also the controversial choice for the FA Cup semi final this last season as the Blues played United. This was despite a protest from Everton fans that the referee, who lives just a matter of miles from Old Trafford, was previously removed from officiating a United game against Aston Villa for that very reason after Villa complained.
He was also in charge for the dull 0-0 Merseyside Derby in February 2015 which ended with four Toffees shown yellow cards. Before October, Everton had lost five straight games that Taylor has officiated.
Match Officials details -
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: S Bennett, A Nunn
Fourth official: M Atkinson
Anthony Taylor’s Everton record -
(Tomorrow’s game at Anfield is included in this record as a scoreless draw)